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Creating a user-first world with AI; Making flying ubiquitous in cities

Humanify Technologies guides businesses to adopt new technology and drive user insights. The ePlane Company made it to YourStory’s Tech30 list as one of the 30 most promising Indian startups of 2023. tajgifts.com enables NRIs to gift their relatives back in India.

Creating a user-first world with AI; Making flying ubiquitous in cities

Monday November 20, 2023 , 6 min Read

Hello,

Well, India didn’t lift the World Cup but it certainly lifted our spirits! There’s always the next time.

Elsewhere, Physics Wallah (PW) has sacked 120-150 employees in a workforce reduction exercise. The layoffs come at a time when the profitable unicorn saw 100% growth in its online business in FY23.

"At PW, we regularly assess performance through mid-term and end-term cycles. For the cycle ending in October, less than 0.8% of our workforce, ranging from 70 to 120 individuals with performance concerns—may be asked to transition,” Satish Khengre, CHRO, PW, told YourStory.

Meanwhile, India is expected to be a $7-trillion economy by 2030, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran said. According to recent RBI estimates, the Indian economy is expected to grow 6.5% this financial year. 

In more good news, the combined market valuation of seven of the top 10 valued firms climbed Rs 1,50,679.28 crore last week. While IT majors Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys emerged as the biggest gainers, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, and Bajaj Finance faced erosion from their market valuation.

And lastly, meet HomoSEP, a robot developed by IIT-Madras to eliminate the practice of manual scavenging in India.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Creating a user-first world with AI
  • Making flying ubiquitous in cities
  • Mother-daughter taking biz legacy forward

Here’s your trivia for today: Who is the only cricketer to score a century and yet be on the losing side in an ODI World Cup final?


Startup

Creating a user-first world with AI

Humanify Technologies guides businesses to adopt new technology and drive user insights to understand human behaviour and become more sensitive to human needs. Its debut product, Explorastory—a B2B SaaS research platform—decodes unstructured conversations and observations into a real-time user research report available on demand at a fraction of the typical cost and time. 

Offering guidance:

  • Humanify’s research reports, generated through Explorastory, closely mimic the human experience. They generate real-time research results customised to the use case by leveraging AI.
  • The startup has a dual customer focus—first, consumer goods brands, including FMCG, appliances, and home and lifestyle companies; second, service companies like banks and media and entertainment enterprises. 
  • “We plan to extend our product offerings using AI to significantly improve the user experience and possibilities of learning from our users in real-time," says Co-founder Geetika Kambli.
Humanify Technologies


Startup

Making flying ubiquitous in cities

Prof Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy started Ubifly Technologies Private Limited, better known as The ePlane Company, as an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) startup to ease on-road traffic congestion in cities by offering safe, sustainable, and affordable flying services. 

The ePlane Company made it to YourStory’s Tech30 list as one of the 30 most promising Indian startups of 2023 and has so far raised $5.85 million in its seed, Pre-Series A, and Series A rounds.

Air taxis:

  • The ePlane Company received its Design Organisation Approval from the DGCA earlier this year, making it the first private Indian company to receive the certificate for an electric aircraft. 
  • The startup’s products can operate out of any rooftop with no additional infrastructure requirements, allowing for quick onboarding and offboarding of commuters.
  • It is currently commercialising Atva (also known as the e6). The hybrid configuration (fixed wing + VTOL) paves the way for multiple hops on a single charge.
eplane


Entrepreneurship

Mother-daughter taking biz legacy forward

In 1998, Charoo Aggarwal started a company called tajgifts.com to enable NRIs to gift their relatives back in India. Today, her daughter Khushy leads parent company Grass Roots India's foray into the B2B SaaS space.

Growth:

  • tajgifts.com was acquired by Chaitime, and then de-merged into tajonline.com. It was acquired by Grass Roots UK, and then de-merged into a loyalty company, GRG India.
  • Tajgifts.com started out as a garage operation and featured flowers, cakes, chocolates, Indian mithai, watches, holiday packages, and books, and introduced gift certificates in the second year.
  • My Incentives, an end-to-end software to manage and deliver incentives for enterprises, has led GRG India to pivot as an enterprise SaaS company that simplifies rewards and incentive delivery for employees, sales teams, and channel partners.
GRG India


News & updates

  • U-turn: The OpenAI board is in discussions with Sam Altman to return to the company as its CEO, sources told The Verge. One of them said Altman, who was suddenly fired by the board on Friday with no notice, is “ambivalent” about coming back and would want significant governance changes.
  • AI regulation: An agreement on how artificial intelligence should be regulated in the future has been reached by Germany, France and Italy. The three governments are reportedly in favour of binding voluntary commitments for both large and small AI providers in the European Union.
  • Breakthrough: Recently, scientists aiming to devise a one-time treatment to relieve symptoms and possibly cure genetic diseases have successfully found a solution. A new study reported the development of Casgevy, a gene-editing tool made using CRISPR-Cas9 to treat two severe blood conditions – sickle-cell disease and β-thalassaemia. 


What you should watch out for

  • Public debut: Tata Technologies's initial public offering (IPO) will open for subscription on November 22 and conclude on November 24. The engineering and product development digital services company—a subsidiary of Tata Motors—fixed the price band at Rs 475-500 per share for its Rs 3,042 crore maiden public issue. The IPO would comprise up to 6,08,50,278 shares for cash entailing 15% of paid-up share capital.
  • Under scrutiny: BharatPe Co-founder Ashneer Grover and his wife Madhuri Jain have been summoned by Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW). This comes after the couple were stopped at IGI Airport, Delhi following a lookout circular issued against them. According to reports, an EOW investigation into the alleged fraud at the payments firm has found unexplained payments made to allegedly fake HR consultancies operated by Grover, Jain, and Jain’s family members. They were also accused of backdating invoices to use funds.


Who is the only cricketer to score a century and yet be on the losing side in an ODI World Cup final?

Answer: Mahela Jayawardene. The Sri Lankan batsman scored 103 (not out) against India in the 2011 World Cup final. 


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